Hama Star 63
My very first tripod arrived today and I’m all agog! Ever since I flew from India last year, the skies have been a bit of a disappointment. Gone are the crystal-clear tropical skies and welcome to a perennial shroud that has rendered my astronomical refractor vestigial. Still, I was nursing a hope that the clouds could be somehow wished away and then my Galileoscope would help me peer into the larger satellites of Jupiter or the magnificent rings of Saturn.
The arrival of my tripod now makes me fully equipped for a night of bliss! My calendar shows me the phases of the moon and weather forecast. My RSS reader tells what to expect in the night sky, Stellarium twins the sky on my computer, my iPod stocks Miles Davis and Liszt to accompany me in my heavenly solitude and my wife stuffs the wardrobe with clothes to keep me toasted in the English chill. I must be living a charmed life!
The Hama Star 63 is really tall, it’s actually taller than me when fully extended – vital when you’re using a refractor at awkward angles. In fact, the height-advantage might even make the star diagonal dispensable in some cases. I generally wouldn’t prefer using the diagonal because of its lateral inversion property.
It took me all of 20 minutes to fully understand the functionality of this tripod and test it with my wife’s Sony. It looks sturdy, feels reasonably lightweight and the movement offers no unpleasant jerks. I’ve read some reviews saying it isn’t really a heavy-duty stand, a claim I couldn’t possibly repudiate this early. However, I’m reasonably sure I won’t ever need to mount an elephant atop the tripod either. A few telescopes, some cameras, maybe a pair of binoculars someday and that’s about it.
Apart from the refractor, our camera is expected to take joy rides perched atop the Hama Star 63 too. In fact, this may well become its main line of duty, what with the constantly overcast skies. No more asking strangers to click me & my wife together. No more lone pics when we’re arm in arm.
Now if only I could vacuum the clouds above!